Investopia Global Talks - India

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Published March 3, 2023

2 minute read

Paymob CEO Shares Insights on Building Successful Startups in the Middle East

In this session, Paymob CEO Islam Shawky shares his experience in building a successful business in the Middle East, discussing his vision for the future and emphasizing the importance of value-driven growth, perseverance, and strong partnerships.

Session Speakers: 

Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi

Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi

Senior Partner, Global Ventures

Islam Shawky

Islam Shawky

Co-Founder and CEO, Paymob

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Key Takeaways

  • Paymob's business model centers on providing capital to SMEs through financial institutions and implementing technology to manage their operations.
  • The company has seen significant success, with PayPal co-leading its first round of funding, proving that the region can build big companies.
  • The industry should focus on building technology that can compete with the rest of the world rather than taking a cost-driven approach.
  • Building partnerships with people who share the same values and are long-term players is crucial for success, especially in the face of challenges.
  • To build a successful business in the Middle East, it is essential to have a scalable idea, look towards future waves, have perseverance, the right team, and great investors who are core to the business's success.

Paymob CEO Islam Shawky shared his insights on the journey of building a successful business in the Middle East in the “VC Talks: Paymob” marketplace session. Moderated by Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, the session delved into Shawky’s experience leading a startup and his vision for the industry’s future.

Shawky discussed Paymob’s business model, which includes working with financial institutions to provide capital to SMEs to expand their businesses and implementing technology to help manage their operations. The company has seen significant success, with PayPal co-leading the first round of funding. Shawky emphasized that the region can build big companies and that the industry should focus on building technology that can compete with the rest of the world.

Shawky shared his experience of starting Paymob while still in university and how the company has succeeded despite the perception of a congested market. He emphasized that there are better ways to go than the cost-driven approach and that the focus should be on value-driven growth. Paymob aims to enable multiple payment options for SMEs and increase their sales, boosting revenues. Shawky also talked about the importance of building partnerships with people who share the same values and are long-term players, especially in the face of the many challenges that startups encounter.

Shawky’s advice for building a successful business in the Middle East includes having a scalable idea and looking toward future waves rather than trying to fix current issues. He also highlighted the importance of having perseverance, the right team, and great investors who are core to the business’s success.

In conclusion, Paymob’s CEO has offered valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of building a business in the Middle East. He emphasized that the region has the potential to compete globally and that the focus should be on building sustainable businesses that can have a positive impact.

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